…a couple of weeks back, I heard the exciting news that Hot Chip was releasing a new album (In Our Heads on June 04, 2012), which always brings me great joy. In case you don’t know Hot Chip or their work I’ve created a mix of my favorite tracks from the four records they’ve released to date. (They also have one DJ Kicks album.)
But, if you want a quick preview here goes:
Hot Chip is a band of dance music loving geeks. (I am a proud card-carrying member of this group.) Wry and sardonic, this group of Brits is the 21st Century British Pop and Dance-House Culture scene’s answer to the Smiths. Lead singer and songwriter Alexis Taylor is a bespectacled, red head who often sports collared shirts fully buttoned (Urkel-style) while shaking around the stage shifting between Prince-like falsettos and a deep Brit-Pop MC-like bass. Part pranksters, part sentimentalists but all about getting you to shake your hips, Hot Chip produces some of the most clever and precise dance music for those who enjoy a great dance beat along with tongue-in-cheek, witty lyrics. A Hot Chip show is basically a giant dance party for the geeky-set who like talking about video games, T.S. Elliot, and professional wrestling. Don’t worry you don’t need to get the references because the songs are just a pleasure to listen to regardless of the lyrics.
This is a warning… Hot Chip will get you into the groove.
Trendy Tracks (or at least ones I currently enjoy, click on song title to listen):
This Isn’t Our Parade“ – This song is the opposite of everything I’ve come to love from Santigold. Both “Creator” and “You’ll Find a Way” are aggressive blasts mixing up-tempo-House Beats with punk rock and New Wave, respectively (think Debbie Harry (of Blondie) fronting Sleater Kinney and they decided to make a Dizzee Rascal song). Her music is about as eclectic as it gets, borrowing from various musical styles, a Benetton of beats. (To me, Santigold represents everything that fans of No Doubt and M.I.A. hoped those artists would become – yes, that is a slight knock against both of them.). “This Isn’t Our Parade” is a far mellower, slower quasi-dub-reggae number – an uncomplicated percussive beat with a simple synth line. I adore this song because it exhibits the subtle power of Santigold’s voice, which in this track is filled with an overwhelmingly uncertainty and curiosity that totally sucks me in. (Remember full album streaming at NPR.)‘s “
Sarah Jaffee “Glorified High“ – Although slightly faster-paced than the Santigold number, this song is also a more subdued track built around the lead singer’s vocals but is a brilliantly conceived unassuming dance number — give it like thirty seconds (or so) and you’ll see what I mean. For some reason she reminds me a lot of St. Vincent covering Robyn (which would be awesome but not as cool as when Dismemberment Plan covered Robyn’s “Dancehall Queen” last year). Also, this reminds me a lot of “Anti-Anti” by Snowden if that rings a bell.
Jack White “Missing Pieces“ – I’ll be honest, ever since White Blood Cells, I’ve been sort of nonplussed about Jack White’s work. I know that is sort of anathema among music lovers but that is how I feel. However, this opening number from his new album reminds me a lot of those elements of the early White Stripes records that I (and so many of us) feel for years ago.
P.S. Also this weekend-ish (in Chicago):